CZ Seals the Binance Love Affair With France - Says Paris is ‘Financial Hub for Crypto’ in Europe

Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Source: Adobe/orpheus26

France and the leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance have continued to deepen their relationship through collaboration, with founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao describeing capital Paris as the financial hub of crypto in Europe. 

CZ was speaking during an opening session of the Binance Blockchain Week Paris 2022, which kicked off on September 14. He stated that with the strong push for crypto adoption and other initiatives the French government is taking, the crypto market is set to "explode" in the country over the next five years. 

Some of the initiatives he highlights include France's efforts to lower taxes and ease up its employment laws. He also commented on the European Union's incoming crypto regulations which France will adopt. 

CZ said the EU's Market's in Digital Assets (MiCA) laws are "fantastic" but a bit strict, especially on stablecoins. However, he still expects the laws that will create a uniform crypto regulatory regime for the 27 EU member countries to soon become a global standard.  

"The drafts are not adopting USD-based stablecoins, which have 75% of the liquidity in the market," Zhao said. 

To help remedy the pitfalls, government representatives announced during a session that France is launching a 3-year regulatory Sandbox for the crypto industry from March 2023. This is to allow innovation in the French crypto industry to flourish and give crypto start-ups new opportunities. 

Binance makes inroads in other markets

Binance's relationship with France has been waxing stronger since 2021. Last year, Binance entered a partnership with France FinTech, a non-profit association, to launch a €100 million fund to develop the French and European blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem with the backing of the Ministry for Digital Transition and Electronic Communication. 

In May this year, Binance was given a Virtual Assets Service Provider (VASP) license by France's capital market regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). According to a report by Reuters at the time, Binance plans to make Paris its European base. 

Meanwhile, Binance is also looking to establish a market presence in other countries both in Europe and globally. The exchange is currently seeking VASP licenses in Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, and the Philippines.  

However, with Binance still at loggerheads with several regulators on the continent, its European ambitions will still face significant pushback from the EU's MiCA regulations. This may even allow more highly regulated crypto exchanges like Bitstamp and Coinbase to gain market share over Binance, the current global market leader.